Software that Manages, Controls, and Predicts all Within Your Warehouse or Distribution Center

Warehouse Software

New to automation and not sure what type of software you need for your warehouse or distribution center? You’re not alone. At PINAXIS, we get questions all the time about what types of warehouse management software or other types of software that are needed for a specific application or just in general—especially if an organization is going from a manual to an automated or semi-automated material handling process. And yes, there are a lot of moving parts to a warehouse and depending upon your application, you may need one or multiple types of software for your facility. It all depends on your application needs. However, we’ve outlined the most common and put descriptions to our product offerings so that you can do even more research. Plus, our warehouse software experts are more than happy to assist you as you plan your project.

WMS vs. WCS?

What's the Difference Between Warehouse Management Software vs. Warehouse Control Software?

Warehouse Management Software (WMS) and Warehouse Control Software (WCS) are both integral components of a software solution for an automated warehouse or distribution center. At PINAXIS, we provide both WMS and WCS solutions. Once you understand the differences and the functionalities behind them, you’ll understand the crucial roles each plays and why they are different.

Warehouse Management Software

The WMS primarily focuses on the overall management and optimization of warehouse operations. It includes functionalities such as inventory management, slotting, order processing, picking and packing, and it usually interfaces with other business software solutions like an enterprise resource planning (ERP) software. The WMS focuses on the human-driven tasks and processes within the warehouse as well.  Think of the WMS as the orchestrator to make everything, or material flows, come together in a simplified and orderly fashion. It manages all the integrations and handles the optimization of the storage within a warehouse.

Warehouse Control Software

A WCS is more specialized and focuses on the real-time control and automation of material handling equipment. The WCS manages things like conveyors, sortation, palletizers, robotics, and shuttle equipment. Think of the WCS as the manager of the warehouse equipment, as well as the movement and timing of that equipment. Everything is managed in real time, and it is done so efficiently. The WCS integrates with the WMS and acts as a bridge between the WMS and the physical equipment, so everything is coordinated for material flows.

Warehouse Visualization Software

Imagine your vehicle without a dashboard. It’s hard to imagine right? Yet, some software providers intend for you to do just that—drive without knowing what’s happening. Although most software providers have some reporting capabilities, it’s mostly simple reports. However, your warehouse operations consist of a series of sensors, gauges, and other technology that keep a pulse on the inner workings. If you don’t have insight to these monitoring capabilities, you can’t expect to make sound decisions. Plus, you need to know where bottlenecks are and when potential maintenance issues may arise.

Is there a Difference in Software Providers?

In a short answer, yes. While the core tasks may be somewhat similar, a good WMS software provider will have more capabilities and features. This also includes PINAXIS. You want to look for someone that has proven software in-use on the market. Given that warehouse automation has plenty of newcomers to the space, this is an area where you don’t want to skimp. In fact, your entire operations will depend on your vendor selection. So, it’s best to choose a vendor who has standard integrations into ERP systems like SAP®.

At PINAXIS, we offer a visualization software that gives real time insights and monitoring capabilities. With PINAXIS, real-time data, historical data, and visual layout of your operations are combined to monitor and highlight any device not performing as expected. Plus, key performance indicators (KPIs) are laid out in an easy-to-read dashboard to alert you when something is awry and preventive maintenance is needed, or just peace-of-mind when everything is running smoothly.

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PINAXIS Warehouse Automation